US open-access petition hits 25,000 signatures in two weeks

A petition requesting that President Obama make taxpayer-funded research freely available has reached advocates’ goal of 25,000 signatures in two weeks.

According to the petition site’s rules, any petition securing 25,000 signatures within 30 days will be sent to the White House Chief of Staff, and will receive an official response.

The petition says: ‘We believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research.’

The “We the People” petition was created by Access2Research, a group of open-access advocates, including SPARC’s executive director, Heather Joseph. ‘The community is fully engaged in sending a clear message to the Administration – access to taxpayer-funded information is in the public’s interest, and they want it now,’ said Joseph.

‘The next step is for the White to House to issue an official response,’ said Mike Rossner, executive director at The Rockefeller University Press and an original sponsor of the petition. ‘Our hope is that they will act quickly and will require expansion of the successful NIH policy to all other major US federal funding agencies.’

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